“Making the transition from documentary to drama was always going to present a challenge, not least at a time when COVID-19 restrictions limit the scope of what’s possible on a film set. I’m immensely proud of our magnificent cast and crew, who made my first-time directing drama a positive and rewarding experience. We’re grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Sharp Shorts scheme and appreciate the Short Circuit team for their support throughout.”
– Paul Sng, Director – Folding, Sharp Shorts 2020

Our Sharp Shorts scheme funds up-and-coming writers, directors and producers to create inspiring, engaging and boundary-pushing short films (live action and animation) that resonate with audiences worldwide.

This year, Short Circuit will select up to 12 projects to take part in a 3-month development phase.

Over the 3 months, writers or writer/directors will develop their short film proposals into a draft script. Teams will be supported by Short Circuit’s Talent Executives and will have access to masterclasses, editorial feedback, peer-to-peer workshops and additional bespoke training and access support as required. This will also include training to help you prepare to pitch in front of the funding panel.

After pitching for a production award in September 2023, up to six projects will be selected to receive up to £25,000 of funding.

Since the launch of Sharp Shorts in May 2020 the Short Circuit team and pool of readers have assessed over 800 submissions for the scheme. 44 short film projects have received development support and 25 projects have been awarded funding.

The application deadline for this opportunity was 11am on Monday 29th May 2023. We are no longer accepting applications.

What does Sharp Shorts support?

Sharp Shorts is a development and production scheme for new and emerging filmmaking talent based in Scotland. As a writer, director, producer or writer/director, you will have some experience in making short form work; these might be self-funded or student films, or you might have already gained some professional recognition for your previous work and are looking to make a short as a stepping stone to feature films.

Short Circuit welcomes applications from independent filmmakers, including those looking to make the transition to fiction from documentary or experimental film, as well as practitioners working in other mediums such as television, theatre, literature and other forms of visual and/or performing arts. All applicants should be able to demonstrate some experience of crafting a dramatic narrative or a professional artwork in at least one of these formats.

We are seeking applications from complete teams of writer, director (or writer/director) and producer or from individual writers or writer/directors. Individual producers or directors not currently attached to a project will be invited to submit for consideration at a later date.

We are aware that within the screen industry that Disabled and D/deaf people, global majority ethnic communities, women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex people (LGBTQI+), and those who have been socially and economically disadvantaged by their circumstances and upbringing are proportionately under-represented. We encourage applications from individuals who are currently under-represented within the sector and seek to foster equal opportunities for new and emerging talent from diverse backgrounds, with support on hand for those who need it.



What are we looking for?

Short Circuit is seeking powerful, imaginative and entertaining works of fiction (live action or animation) that have the potential to gain exposure to international audiences via film festivals and online platforms, in line with our goal to spotlight and raise the profile of visionary new creative voices in Scotland.

Sharp Shorts aims to bring adventurous and distinctive stories to the screen and we are primarily looking for original work.